Nowadays, people are realising the importance of going green and are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. One of the ways to do this is to switch to renewable energy sources such as solar energy.
According to the Global Solar Summit that was held in October 2019, the global market for commercial and community solar will reach $136 billion by 2024.
This is a promising sign that countries around the world are stepping up their game in the field of renewable energy and that solar power has arrived.
If you’re looking to generate your own electricity and can’t seem to choose between solar and other clean energy sources, then this article is for you. Here we’ll discuss why commercial buildings are perfect candidates for solar power, and how they can generate their own electricity with the help of solar energy.
Why Are Commercial Buildings Suitable For Solar Energy?
The primary reason behind the proliferation of commercial buildings using solar energy is the cost savings that one can achieve. For instance, the national grid charges a fixed rate of about $0.15 per kWh, but the price of solar electricity is usually around $0.03 per kWh, resulting in a cost savings of around $0.12 per kWh.
In some cases, this can amount to a significant reduction in electricity costs. In fact, for some organisations, the cost savings from going green can be considerable and can even justify the investment required for purchasing and installing solar equipment.
Although there are other benefits to going green, the best reason to use solar energy is to save money. Regardless of whether you choose to go with solar or another clean energy source, you’ll realise that cost savings is probably the predominant reason why more and more organisations are choosing to switch to renewable energy.
How Much Does It Cost To Install Solar Energy In A Commercial Building?
The cost of installing solar energy in a commercial building will depend on various factors, such as the size and scope of the project. However, for the sake of simplicity, we’ll assume that you want to install a solar energy system with an output of about 10 kW, which is considered small scale and can be installed by anyone with basic technical skills. This article will discuss the cost of this installation, which will include the costs of labor and material.
According to the Global Solar Summit report, the cost of labor should not be a concern and will vary from $15,000 to $25,000, while the cost of the materials will range from $7,500 to $12,500, depending on what you need and how much you need. For example, if you need a large quantity of polycarbonate, the cost may range from $15,000 to $25,000. If you need a small quantity, the cost may be lower, around $7,500 to $12,500.
What Type Of Solar Energy System Is Suitable For A Commercial Building?
The type of solar energy system suitable for a commercial building will depend on your location and the climate. The best advice is to consult with an expert who can advise you on the most suitable system for your needs.
However, if you have a very specific need and just want to save money, then you can choose from among the following systems:
- Monocrystalline solar cells, which are thin layers of semiconductors used to convert sunlight directly into electricity.
- Polycrystalline solar cells, which are arrays of multiple thin layers of semiconductors used to create electrical current by converting sunlight directly into electricity.
- Crescent cut solar cells, which are a type of polycrystalline solar cell used in mobile phone charging stations and other small applications.
- Multi-junction solar cells, which consist of multiple stacked layers of semiconductors used to capture more sunlight and increase the efficiency of the cell.
- Hybrid solar cells, which combine the best aspects of two different types of solar cell.
How Do I Choose The Right Equipment For A Solar Energy System?
The best advice is to choose equipment that is specifically designed for use in solar energy systems, rather than buying random items that might be suitable for some other purpose. If you do this, you’ll save a lot of time and effort and will be able to generate electricity more efficiently and effectively.
For example, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has a specialised in house team that designs and builds solar systems for commercial and industrial buildings, such as plants and data centres. This team can recommend and help choose the right equipment for your specific needs.
Where Can I Buy All The Necessary Equipment For A Solar Energy System?
If you’re looking to install a solar energy system in your commercial building, then you’ll need the following items:
- A battery system to store electricity generated by the solar panels.
- A charge controller to regulate the flow of electricity to the battery system.
- A solar monitor to track the output of the solar panels and display the current status of the system.
- A communication system such as a ZigBee network interface, which can connect to devices such as remote controllers and inverters.
- An inverter, which changes direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) and vice versa.
- A standalone microinverter or a string inverter, which is also known as a combiner box.
- A weatherproof enclosure to protect the equipment from the environment. This includes things such as dust collection, waterproofing, and ventilation.
- A gasket to seal the enclosure.
- A solar spectrum capture device, such as an optical filter, to reduce the amount of UV radiation and improve the efficiency of the system.
- An alarm system to alert you of any tampering or malfunction.
Will People In My Community Bother Using Solar Energy?
Whether or not the public in your community will bother using solar energy will depend on a variety of factors. However, if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint and generate your own electricity, then people in your community will most likely become aware of your decision and may even question you about it. This is why it’s important to educate people about the many benefits of going green and the role that they can play in making the world a better place.
Some organisations have used financial incentives to get the public to go green. For example, the City of San Francisco has launched a new incentive programme that will provide $20,000 in cash incentives for those who install solar panels on their home.
The Pros And Cons Of Using Solar Energy For Your Commercial Building.
The primary advantages of using solar energy for your commercial building are as follows:
- It’s cost-efficient. Due to the fluctuating price of electricity, depending on the time of day and location, it can be cheaper to generate electricity using solar power than from the grid.
- It’s environmentally friendly. In some cases, the electricity generated by a solar power system may be less harmful to the environment than electricity produced by traditional energy sources.
- It prevents energy theft. When the power is off, the electricity produced by solar power systems cannot be stolen.
- It allows for more flexibility. With a solar power system, you can generate your own electricity whenever you need it and meet your production needs, rather than being restricted by electricity shortages as is the case with most other energy sources.
- It’s safe. It is almost impossible to cause an accident with solar powered equipment. Also, due to the low voltage and low power, it’s safe for the general public to be around these appliances.
The primary disadvantages of using solar energy for your commercial building are as follows: